Updated: Jul 22
"I love you so much, but Jesus loves you even more." These were the words I spoke to my daughter every time it was my turn for her bedtime. She would look up at me with those beautiful big eyes and smiles, and it meant the world to me. I had no idea if it was sinking in, but I wasn't going to stop saying it simply because she didn't say anything in return.
There are reasons why I kept this up through her childhood, and even sometimes, now I say something similar. It's not said to a child these days, not as a wife and mother who has her own journey to draw upon. But I love her as much if not more - and yet, Jesus still loves her beyond what I ever will. It's part and parcel of his gig. What then did I take away from this loving-kindness of Jesus? What is it I activated in my life that helped me become the best dad I could be? There are several, but one stands out for this blog that I'd like to offer. One piece of my journey helped me understand the difference between an earthly father and my heavenly father. Want to know? Ah, then you must. Please do!
The Best Dad I Could Be
It lies in the statement above, "...the best dad I could be." I know I'm going to make mistakes as a dad. I did when Kate was a child, I did when she was a teenager on into her twenties, and I'm pretty sure I've continued to make mistakes. I learned that I would never be perfect. I will make relational mistakes and have to live with these. This may seem like a negative statement, but to me, it's a simple truth. I don't know all things. I'm not omniscient. I'm not going to be perfect. That has helped me place a reachable level of wisdom about it all.
I've definitely grown as a dad. I've gained some wisdom in relating to people. I've learned that there are times to let issues slide for a while before speaking. I've learned the power of forgiveness - that is me asking forgiveness. As an imperfect father, I've also learned that I don't have to beat myself up when I've missed it when I'm less than perfect.
I believe my example is Christ. A perfect expression of our heavenly father. I am working towards his perfection. I desire greater revelation of his goodness in my life. I also want a deeper, heartfelt life-giving wisdom that my daughter can draw from. I pray this increases through the years that I'm blessed to be on this earth. I would hope that the level of wisdom I gain will be the foundation, the footing for her wisdom to build on. But it ain't perfect today!
Evaluation Is Good For The Soul?
How then shall I live? The reason I could say to Kate, "I love you so much, but Jesus loves you even more," is because I had taken an honest evaluation of myself and found myself lacking. That didn't stop me from moving forward and wanting to be a better dad. It allowed me to understand God's goodness and his perfection in fathering. That I could point Kate to the most loving, generous, and kind father that will never lose touch with her, will never put his needs before hers, and will always be seeking her best!
What have I gained? I desire the best for her. I want her to succeed and reach further than I ever will - and not the way I desire this but how she desires it. I want to be a good dad, not a perfect dad!
The Cause For The Pause
I want to encourage you to consider one word, sentence, or paragraph in this blog that caused you to pause. Please read that again and take a few minutes to answer the question that is created. If you don't have a moment right now, write down the word(s) and the question it brought to mind. Then, as soon as you can, take a few minutes to ponder with the father and write down the response. These times will create in you a wise heart and a deeper life.
Thanks for caring,
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